You know how sometimes when you look back at a song, or a band, that you used to like in the day – you realise that they actually weren’t that good? That happens to me all the time, especially considering that I foray quite deeply into 80’s pop; the birth of one-hit-wonderdom. There are, however, several legendary groups from that era, just watch the music video for “We are the World” and “Do they know it’s Christmas” and your jaw will drop. In fact, it costs more to see an 80’s icon (like Bruce Springsteen) in concert, than it does to see the biggest artists in the world right now…did you know that? Justice.
In any case, this article is not about the 80’s (surprise, surprise) but actually about an amazing band of the 90’s which I recently revisited/stumbled upon while listening to a YouTube mix. TLC is their name, and I am sure you have heard of them. Long story short, when I listened to their breakout, raw, moderately produced hits like “Baby, Baby, Baby” and “What About Your Friends” I literally could not stop…for like a week. I am also trying to hold back the tears. Why, you might ask? Simply this; the talent, strength, natural ability, talent (oh I already said that), energy, positivity and understated mastery of all things just rattle me. To think that you could be a chart topping female hip hop/rap artist and NOT talk about your a** or what you had to do for money, is just amazing. Is it not?Embed from Getty Images
Yes, I do love the production values of current music and the choreography of the videos that accompany them, but in all seriousness; Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea and the like should be embarrassed. Look what they rap about, like seriously, and they do so proudly and confidently. Granted that not each and every one of Nicki Minaj’s songs are about the dirty, but most of them are and she is quite bold. Even Beyonce is going down that road, with her surfboard innuendo and cheetah printed partition in her latest album. Is there nothing left to talk about, ladies? Have we exhausted every other avenue that we now need to go back to basics? I guess all of our other problems, as women in general, have been solved then? Hooray!
I read a comment from one YouTuber who said “in the 90’s you had a large variety of r&b girl groups. early 90’s, you had TLC,SWV,en vogue and Xscape. the mid 90’s you had 702 and Total. in the late 90’s, you had destiny’s child and blaque. we haven’t had a popular girl group in years.”
Like, why does every rap/hip hop music video have to take place in a night club or on the scene of some kind of heist? I get being realistic – because this sort of thing does go on, A LOT, but what kind of message are you sending to your fans…the youth of society? Oh, it’s cool to be a high end drug dealer who “survives” by raking in millions “through the post”. Like, really. I’m so sick of this crap. And, I haven’t even mentioned what the female artist are getting up to, and that INCLUDES Miss Beyonce. I will give her a break though, as her work is pretty substantial and diverse…so if she wants to get down once in a while – so be it!
Hmmmm…and now my beef about the great TLC…yes, I just about beef on errthang!Embed from Getty Images
Yes, “No Scrubs” was a great tune, great, an anthem actually and changed the way people spoke. I personally began to generalise whether someone was a scrub or not, afterwards…how about you? I also appreciate the quality of “Waterfalls”, especially considering that Lisa Lopes not only contributed to the lyrics (a highly publicised issue for her) but they were engraved on her tombstone. SO SAD that she is gone. It really is. I read somewhere that if she had still been around, Nicki Minaj would not have a chance. Now, I’m not sure about that, but I do think her voice was definitely superior. I always love the album that propels the artist(s) to the world stage and do not understand why big money producers (no offence, Dallas Austin, I think you’re pretty cool) gotta come in and smooth out all those edges. Oh right, to make the music more palatable to the mainstream. Right.
WATCH THIS VIDEO AND TELL ME THAT THESE GIRLS ARE NOT WICKEDLY COOL, FUN, SELF RESPECTFUL, AND BAD TO THE BONE WITH THEIR TALENT:
We’ll tackle the issue of Usher in a future posting…